The Siege

January 19, 2021

This short film by Siyi (Erin) Yue shows society’s ambivalence toward silence. While freedom of speech, an essential human right, welcomes individual perspectives, it sometimes undermines others’ rights. The dictator in the film forbids children to speak, which is seemingly cruel, but her genuine intent is to provide a sanctuary that prevents them from harsh public critiques. The open-ended conclusion reveals another aspect of freedom of speech: if people misuse it, it will ultimately become public bullying, because no matter what you say, people will always find defects and condemn your remarks until you surrender to them.